When Passengers See Transit Investment, ‘Certainly Ridership Does Respond’

GoRaleigh Station under renovation.

GoRaleigh Station under renovation. (City of Raleigh)

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That’s one of the reasons why the city of Raleigh is renovating its downtown bus hub.

The city of Raleigh aims to improve a major downtown transit facility by renovating the GoRaleigh Station, a project municipal leaders in North Carolina’s capital broke ground on in mid February.

Formerly known as the Moore Square Transit Mall, the downtown bus hub has operated since 1988 and seen significant expansion in that time.

Rebranded and promising free Wi-Fi, an information booth with real-time travel updates, larger waiting areas, new restrooms and aesthetic improvements centered on a reconstructed courtyard, the station is making a play to draw more passengers.

“Whenever you invest in infrastructure—whether it’s a new transit facility, whether it’s passenger amenities or buses—it provides a brighter outlook really for the system,” David Eatman, Raleigh’s transit administrator, says in this city-produced YouTube video . “And when your passengers see that investment, certainly ridership does respond.”

Many riders who are new to the Raleigh area hail from New England or the West Coast, where cities offer more transit services, Eatman says. So the city is looking to meet their expectations for increased mobility.

While the station will remain operational during the nine to 12 months of renovations, passengers can expect “ periods of inconvenience ” as upgrades are made, he adds. One walkway to the transit area is already closed, but as Eatman points out relocating operations is not an easy process.

The new and improved GoRaleigh Station should be up and running by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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